Wings of honor: Local WWII veteran honored with bomber group

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The B-17 is one of the most iconic aircraft of World War II and the workhorse for bombing runs into enemy territory.Jack Hunter of Athens flew 25 missions with the 384th Bomb Group during the war. A member of the 547th Squadron, Hunter manned the tail gun during his crew’s bombing raids.A national campaign to honor surviving members of the 384th brought Keith Ellison to Athens with a wing panel from an original B-17. The large metal sheet is decorated with the insignia of the 384th bomb group, it’s four squadrons and the Army Eighth Air Force.
What’s more poignant are the dozens of names scrawled in black ink across the sheet: These are the veterans Ellison and his partners have tracked down and immortalized on the wing panel.Jack Hunter, at age 90, is now the 140th veteran on the wing.“The goal was to get guys like Jack Hunter to sign it to commemorate and preserve the legacy,” Ellison said Friday at a signing ceremony held at the Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives.The 384th Bomb Group Veterans Signing Project began in 2010 when the wing panel was presented to the 384th during a reunion in Branson, Missouri. …


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